Lightning Thief Musical: Songs From The Show

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical | CarolinaTix

Last night, I had the pleasure to interview Rob Rokiki for the National Writing Project’s Write Time show. Rob wrote the music and lyrics to The Lightning Thief musical, and he shared insights into his writing process and creative thinking when balancing music, writing and story. When the NWP interview gets released, I’ll share it here but I also found the album of music he wrote from that show that had been released as an album.

I teach The Lightning Thief as a novel with my sixth graders, so this was a wonderful experience to talk to Rob. They were excited to hear about my opportunity to connect with the writer of the songs of the musical.

Peace (and song),
Kevin

World Poetry Day: Finding A Poem

World Poetry Day: Poems From Edge of Extinction

For World Poetry Day, the daily prompt at DS106 Daily Create was to explore poetry of endangered languages. I went black-out with mine, using a collection and some text from the editor.

A simple idea:
collect poems
in endangered languages

Help document
how poetry
exists

The conversations
and encounters
with poets from all
over the world

showcase
the edge of
extinction

The urgency
invention and
sheer range of poetry
on every continent

Peace (and poems),
Kevin

AI Music: Another Step Forward

AI Generated Song

Since last year, I have been playing around and experimenting with the emergence of AI tools that create music (see earlier posts). Some of it has been interesting. Most have been pretty bland. As someone who makes music, but who keeps an open mind about technology, I’ve been trying to keep tabs on things (as best as one can do).

Suno, a new site to me but I guess it has been around for a few months, is quite different in the way that it integrates music, voice and lyrics in its AI production, and it quite a leap forward from the other sites I have tinkered with.

It works like a sort of a Chatbot — you write in a theme or topic and suggest a music style and it works to craft a short blurb of a song, with music and with vocals singing words generated by some sort of ChatGPT text. The quality here is much higher than other sites I have played with.

And the results, while still formulaic and a bit generic in sound, are interesting and show how songwriting and music production are the next wave of these AI tools. They may never supplant musicians and songwriters (he writes, hopeful) but they do demonstrate how making song tracks could become rather automated in the time ahead of us, either for commercial products or some other means.

Listen to a song I had Suno generate about our dog, Rayna, and her days snoozing on the couch.

Then listen to a song I had it create about Duke Rushmore, a fictional musician whose name is the name of my read rock and roll band.

Weird, right?

Peace (and song),
Kevin

From Me To You: A Few Haiku

Dance The Light

I’ve been doing more than usual Haiku poems for my morning writing. Not sure if that’s because I am a bit lazy (small poems getting smaller) or feel inspired by the tiny containers of moments. Many of these are inspired by one-word prompts off Mastodon or haiku responses to my friend, Algot (who writes Sunday poems that I try to respond to with poems).

Crescent Moon Poems

Fiddleheads

Bird Bombadier

Night hour, gone

Fingers In The Soil

Peace (and poems),
Kevin

Daily Create: Coloring

Coloring: In An Otherwise Odd World

The prompt for this morning’s Daily Create via DS106 was to use Scrap-Coloring to color an image or file. I’ve used the site before and it’s easy to get lost in it, particularly if the image has a lot of little details. I chose the cover design of my album of sound sketches from last year. (take a listen).

Peace (and sound),
Kevin

Graphic Novel Review Amulet 9 (Waverider)

Waverider by Kazu Kibuishi

Sixteen years ago, the first Amulet graphic novel dropped. This month, the ninth and last book in the series – Waverider – dropped. I held on to it for our February vacation so that I could spend time with the book, and finishing it, I think it did a satisfactory job of bringing the sprawling story lines to an ending.

The artwork by Kazu Kabuishi and company, as always, is lovely and evocative, and the use of color and light is just wonderful on page after page. The story narrative, alas, long ago became complicated, and a bit convoluted, and if you are just entering the series, you don’t want to start here. You would really have to go all the way back to the first book in the series.

Mostly, the overarching story centers on Emily, who taps into her power as a Stonekeeper to keep darkness at bay and rebuild society. I still cheered her on, even though the writing resorts to a bit too much of a New Age “heal yourself” messaging, and that felt a bit cheap to me, given the eight books of adventure that set this all up.

Best of all, though, is the world-making that happened in the books, with visuals that did a fine job of making each page in the graphic novels works of art.

I have a student who told me they had read all the other eight books and were unaware that the ninth book was even out. They were very excited when I told them I would gladly lend my copy when I am done.

Peace (it all ends somehow).
Kevin